Thursday, February 6, 2014

Great Things Come In Small Packages

One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is Alma 37:6+7

6 Now you may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

I love this scripture because I believe that the smaller things in life like a smile, a hello, a high five, a kind word or note, a hug, an I'm sorry or an I love you go much farther and bring more happiness than most big things can. In a world that is constantly trying to be bigger and better and that is moving so rapidly it is really nice when someone will take a little bit of time out of their day to do something kind. 

I saw this video today and it reminded me of this scripture. :) Just imagine if everyone were to do these simple things how great would our world be?

Also, remember to take time to enjoy those simple things and to slow down. Take a deep breathe. Look around and see how beautiful life really is. If you are moving too fast or are too busy you may not even notice something beautiful when it is right in front of you. This was a social experiment done by the Washington Post to see if beauty would transcend inconvenient timing. They asked Joshua Bell, world famous classical violinist, to play in the D.C. subway during rush hour to see if anyone would slow down to hear. Note, he was playing some of the most elegant pieces of music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever created....

Are you too busy or preoccupied to notice the beauty around you? Are you too busy with your life to perform little acts of kindness for others? By small and simple things great things can be brought to pass. Will you be great?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Alma 56: The Strippling Warriors

Back in Alma tonight! So remember Captain Moroni and how he was out fighting wars with the Lamanites? Well that was only on the east side of the land. Over on the west things weren't looking so good either. The Nephites in that part of the land were desiring to build an army, but they had recently made a covenant that they would never go to war again. Helaman, another Nephite captain, didn't want them to break their oaths in fear that they would be cursed, so he refused to build one. However, the young sons of the Nephites hadn't made the covenant with God, so they stepped up and said they would defend their land and people. Helaman agreed and they formed an army of 2,000 young men (Note: 2,000 isn't a very big army. Even crazier, they were going to fight against the strongest army of the Lamanites. Yikes!). So Helaman and his 2,000 stripling warriors march towards Antiparah and when the Lamanite spies there see them they warn their armies and they begin to pursue Helaman. They flee into the wilderness for two nights, with the Lamanites on their tail, and then suddenly the Lamanites stop. Helaman turns to his army and asks them if they are prepared to go to battle and in Helaman's words: "now I say unto you that never had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites. For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were ll of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth". (Alma 56:45+46)
And they do....
And they surround the Lamanites....
Let me repeat, this was the STRONGEST Lamanite army they went up against and 2,000 young men caused them to SURRENDER! If that wasn't a miracle in itself "not one soul of them [the 2,000 stripling warriors] had fallen to the earth"! The ONLY way that could have been possible was through the help of God. Because the Nephites kept their covenants and because of the courage and faith of 2,000 young men the Nephite people were saved again.

A small point I want to make, something I found interesting. While Helaman was fleeing it said multiple times in the account that "they did not turn" but that they "pursued their march in a straight course" and that they "did flee all that day into the wilderness". There are times in our lives where we will have to run away from wickedness, where we will have to stay the straight course even though we see others, maybe even friends or family, moving down another path. There will be times where we feel like we are running in a wilderness and we will have to trust in God and believe that if we continue to go straight He will help us make it out. There will be other times when we will have to show the same kind of courage these young men did and we will have to defend what we believe in. You may have to stand up for what is right, even when it may not be popular or it may cause you some discomfort. Like an old seminary teacher once told me, we need to defend the mountain, defend our God! It will be terrifying at times to do the right thing, but we need not fear because we are doing what God would have us to do and if we choose God we are choosing the winning team. :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Be Who You Are!

This is a talk given by Hank Smith that reflects what I have been thinking about lately. I just want to testify my belief that if you have a righteous desire and go to the Lord with faith (study the scriptures, ponder them, then pray) He will hear that desire and bless you. Hank Smith can share this amazing message much better than I can! Please enjoy his awesome message and hilarity!